The NoRights Podcast: S4E29 – Orphan Works

  • On July 27, 2015 ·
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Ian is busy with family this week but Ben brings us friend of the show Doug and his bro Frank to talk news and discuss Orphan Works. But before that, and even before the news, Doug shares his first short story with us, An Exercise in Futility. Aka A Love Story.

In this week’s news, Ben shares a story relevant to previous  articles, Hackers Remotely Kill a Jeep on the Highway—With Me in It. This ducktails into a story from Doug, Fiat Chrysler to recall 1.4 million vehicles following remote hack. He also brings us a story we recently talked about, Spending a night in Japan’s robot-staffed hotel. That’s quickly followed up with a discussion over US senator wants feds to investigate Apple over music streaming. Ben then tells us about Police arrest US teen who built gun-firing drone. Keeping the drone conversation hovering (see what we did there? :V ) Ben shares Drone Vlog – Yogscast Book Announcement.

Also, since Frank’s on the show and embracing Android, Ben tells him the good news about Fallout Shelter Coming To Android August 13th. Finally Ben asks Doug to chime in on our last news story, WWE terminates contract with Hulk Hogan.

Moving along to our main subject this week, Ben tries (and probably fails) to explain the concept of Orphan Works in layman’s terms. That concept being, when the copyright holder of a piece of content somebody wants to use can not be found through a good faith search to credit and pay them properly, the work can’t be used outside of when fair use applies. This is a concern for people looking to reinvigorate that material in new ways, as they can’t legally move forward if the current copyright owner isn’t known. However, previous attempts to address this have come under fire by creators as potentially orphaning their works and destroying existing copyright protections.

Ben recently became aware of the video Everything You Know About Copyright Is About To Change – Brad Holland, where Will Terry interviews Brad Holland, both illustrators we respect and admire.


It’s been making the rounds on twitter, along with a lengthy blog post. In it Terry and Holland warn that a potential new bill could hurt creators’ rights. Thus far there’s been at least a couple written responses to it, (Terry has referred to the first as an attack article) DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPERBOLE, THERE’S NO ORPHAN WORKS LAW BEFORE CONGRESSThere’s also been an episode of the podcast Surviving Creativity with Cory Casoni, Brad Guigar, Scott Kurtz, and lawyer Katie Lane on the topic. Lane has also written a response, What’s This “Orphan Works” Business About?

We here at NoRights Productions obviously care deeply about protecting creators’ rights. We know it’s a lot to wade through but feel it’s important that people stay calm and look at the facts. Currently there is no proposed bill, only a report, Orphan Works and Mass Digitization: A Report of the Register of Copyrights. You can read it and submit comment.

Finally, Frank ducks out to spend time with his wife while Doug and Ben hunker down and go head to head in some Archie comics trivia. Who will emerge victorious this week? Tune in to find out!

Don’t forget you can also watch the video for this podcast here.